In addition to the many professional development sessions we attended throughout the course of the 2010 PRSSA National Conference, we also learned how to improve our chapter through chapter development sessions. One of the sessions I attended focused first on fundraising and then on using social media to promote events. These sections were hosted by the University of Northern Iowa and Drexel University respectively.
UNI laid out the fundraising process and explained how their chapter raised funds to send members to last year’s National Conference. The fundraising process includes:
2. Financial goal
3. Strategies and tactics
4. Planning and scheduling
5. Implementation and ask
6. Thank you
Then they explained the different types of fundraising, including special events, personal selling and sponsorships. They also emphasized the importance of planing, and the necessity of saying thank you.
Fundraising is something that I would like to see our chapter more involved with – both so that we can connect with the community and also expand our chapter’s reach. Our Executive Board has always discussed fundraising, but we’ve never taken the time to actually do anything with it. It is my hope that our Special Projects Director will be able to help us fundraise for the community, as well as for our chapter’s growth. I think that a special event would benefit our chapter most, as long as we took enough time and effort to plan it. I’ll also be researching some local fundraising events that our chapter can get involved in the community. Let our Executive Board know if you have any ideas for fundraising!
Next, Drexel talked about how they used social networks to publicize their events, in addition to traditional marketing tactics. Specifically, they use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and podcasts to create an interactive community around their events, targeted to specific audiences.
While we have all of these social networking platforms (obviously, we ARE public relations majors), our chapter hasn’t always been the best at using these tools to promote ourselves. If you’re not a member of our LinkedIn group, join – NOW! Same goes for Facebook and Twitter. We’re going to start using these tools to promote our general meetings, workshops and special events. I’m not sure if we’ll incorporate podcasting our events right away, but as our events grow, I would definitely like to see us stream live from our events in the future.
Let us know what you think about these ideas, and if you have any suggestions to help make our chapter better!
Amy Dobrzynski, Vice President